Developing Apps on the OpenDaylight controller

This section provides information that is required to develop apps on the OpenDaylight controller.

You can either develop apps within the controller using the model-driven SAL (MD-SAL) archetype or develop external apps and use the RESTCONF to communicate with the controller.


This section enables you to get started with app development within the OpenDaylight controller. In this example, you perform the following steps to develop an app.

  1. Create a local repository for the code using a simple build process.

  2. Start the OpenDaylight controller.

  3. Test a simple remote procedure call (RPC) which you have created based on the principle of hello world.

Pre requisites

This example requires the following.

  • A development environment with following set up and working correctly from the shell:

    • Maven 3.5.2 or later

    • Java 11-compliant JDK

    • An appropriate Maven settings.xml file. A simple way to get the default OpenDaylight settings.xml file is:

      cp -n ~/.m2/settings.xml{,.orig} ; wget -q -O - > ~/.m2/settings.xml


If you are using Linux or Mac OS X as your development OS, your local repository is ~/.m2/repository. For other platforms the local repository location will vary.

Building an example module

To develop an app perform the following steps.

  1. Create an Example project using Maven and an archetype called the opendaylight-startup-archetype. If you are downloading this project for the first time, then it will take sometime to pull all the code from the remote repository.

    mvn archetype:generate -DarchetypeGroupId=org.opendaylight.archetypes -DarchetypeArtifactId=opendaylight-startup-archetype \
    -DarchetypeCatalog=remote -DarchetypeVersion=<VERSION>

    The correct VERSION depends on desired Simultaneous Release:

    Archetype versions

    OpenDaylight Simultaneous Release

    opendaylight-startup-archetype version

    Magnesium Development


2. Update the properties values as follows. Ensure that the values for the groupId and the artifactId are in lower case.

Define value for property 'groupId': : org.opendaylight.example
Define value for property 'artifactId': : example
Define value for property 'version':  1.0-SNAPSHOT: : 1.3.0-SNAPSHOT
Define value for property 'package':  org.opendaylight.example: :
Define value for property 'classPrefix':  ${artifactId.substring(0,1).toUpperCase()}${artifactId.substring(1)}
Define value for property 'copyright': : Copyright (c) 2020 Yoyodyne, Inc.
  1. Accept the default value of classPrefix that is, (${artifactId.substring(0,1).toUpperCase()}${artifactId.substring(1)}). The classPrefix creates a Java Class Prefix by capitalizing the first character of the artifactId.


    This will create a directory with the name given to artifactId in the above dialog, with the following contents.

  2. Build the example project.


    Depending on your development machine’s specification this might take a little while. Ensure that you are in the project’s root directory, example/, and then issue the build command, shown below.

    mvn clean install
  3. Start the example project for the first time.

    cd karaf/target/assembly/bin
  4. Wait for the karaf cli that appears as follows. Wait for OpenDaylight to fully load all the components. This can take a minute or two after the prompt appears. Check the CPU on your dev machine, specifically the Java process to see when it calms down.

  5. Verify if the “example” module is built and search for the log entry which includes the entry ExampleProvider Session Initiated.

    log:display | grep Example
  6. Shutdown OpenDaylight through the console by using the following command.

    shutdown -f

Defining a Simple Hello World RPC

  1. Build a hello example from the Maven archetype opendaylight-startup-archetype, same as above.
  2. Now view the entry point to understand where the log line came from. The entry point is in the impl project:

  3. Add any new things that you are doing in your implementation by using the HelloProvider.init method. It’s analogous to an Activator.

    * Method called when the blueprint container is created.
    public void init() {"HelloProvider Session Initiated");

Add a simple HelloWorld RPC API

  1. Navigate to the file.

  2. Edit this file as follows. In the following example, we are adding the code in a YANG module to define the hello-world RPC:

    module hello {
        yang-version 1;
        namespace "urn:opendaylight:params:xml:ns:yang:hello";
        prefix "hello";
        revision "2019-11-27" {
            description "Initial revision of hello model";
        rpc hello-world {
            input {
                leaf name {
                    type string;
            output {
                leaf greeting {
                    type string;
  3. Return to the hello/api directory and build your API as follows.

    cd ../../../
    mvn clean install

Implement the HelloWorld RPC API

  1. Define the HelloService, which is invoked through the hello-world API.

    cd ../impl/src/main/java/org/opendaylight/hello/impl/
  2. Create a new file called and add in the code below.

    package org.opendaylight.hello.impl;
     import org.opendaylight.yang.gen.v1.urn.opendaylight.params.xml.ns.yang.hello.rev191127.HelloService;
     import org.opendaylight.yang.gen.v1.urn.opendaylight.params.xml.ns.yang.hello.rev191127.HelloWorldInput;
     import org.opendaylight.yang.gen.v1.urn.opendaylight.params.xml.ns.yang.hello.rev191127.HelloWorldOutput;
     import org.opendaylight.yang.gen.v1.urn.opendaylight.params.xml.ns.yang.hello.rev191127.HelloWorldOutputBuilder;
     import org.opendaylight.yangtools.yang.common.RpcResult;
     import org.opendaylight.yangtools.yang.common.RpcResultBuilder;
     public class HelloWorldImpl implements HelloService {
         public ListenableFuture<RpcResult<HelloWorldOutput>> helloWorld(HelloWorldInput input) {
             HelloWorldOutputBuilder helloBuilder = new HelloWorldOutputBuilder();
             helloBuilder.setGreeting("Hello " + input.getName());
             return RpcResultBuilder.success(;
  3. The file is in the current directory. Register the RPC that you created in the hello.yang file in the file. You can either edit the to match what is below or you can simple replace it with the code below.

     * Copyright(c) Yoyodyne, Inc. and others.  All rights reserved.
     * This program and the accompanying materials are made available under the
     * terms of the Eclipse Public License v1.0 which accompanies this distribution,
     * and is available at
    package org.opendaylight.hello.impl;
    import org.opendaylight.mdsal.binding.api.DataBroker;
     import org.opendaylight.mdsal.binding.api.RpcProviderService;
     import org.opendaylight.yang.gen.v1.urn.opendaylight.params.xml.ns.yang.hello.rev191127.HelloService;
     import org.opendaylight.yangtools.concepts.ObjectRegistration;
     import org.slf4j.Logger;
     import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;
     public class HelloProvider {
         private static final Logger LOG = LoggerFactory.getLogger(HelloProvider.class);
         private final DataBroker dataBroker;
         private ObjectRegistration<HelloService> helloService;
         private RpcProviderService rpcProviderService;
         public HelloProvider(final DataBroker dataBroker, final RpcProviderService rpcProviderService) {
             this.dataBroker = dataBroker;
             this.rpcProviderService = rpcProviderService;
         * Method called when the blueprint container is created.
         public void init() {
   "HelloProvider Session Initiated");
             helloService = rpcProviderService.registerRpcImplementation(HelloService.class, new HelloWorldImpl());
         * Method called when the blueprint container is destroyed.
         public void close() {
   "HelloProvider Closed");
             if (helloService != null) {
  4. Optionally, you can also build the Java classes which will register the new RPC. This is useful to test the edits you have made to and

    cd ../../../../../../../
    mvn clean install
  5. Return to the top level directory

    cd ../
  6. Build the entire hello again, which will pickup the changes you have made and build them into your project:

    mvn clean install

Execute the hello project for the first time

  1. Run karaf

    cd ../karaf/target/assembly/bin
  2. Wait for the project to load completely. Then view the log to see the loaded Hello Module:

    log:display | grep Hello

Test the hello-world RPC via REST

There are a lot of ways to test your RPC. Following are some examples.

  1. Using the API Explorer through HTTP

  2. Using a browser REST client

Using the API Explorer through HTTP

  1. Navigate to apidoc UI with your web browser.
    NOTE: In the URL mentioned above, Change localhost to the IP/Host name to reflect your development machine’s network address.
  2. Select

  3. Select

    POST /operations/hello:hello-world
  4. Provide the required value.

    {"hello:input": { "name":"Your Name"}}
  5. Click the button.

6. Enter the username and password. By default the credentials are admin/admin.

  1. In the response body you should see.

      "output": {
        "greeting": "Hello Your Name"

Using a browser REST client

For example, use the following information in the Firefox plugin RESTClient
POST: http://localhost:8181/restconf/operations/hello:hello-world


Accept: application/json
Content-Type: application/json
Authorization: Basic admin admin


{"input": {
    "name": "Andrew"

In the response body you should see:

  "output": {
    "greeting": "Hello Your Name"


If you get a response code 501 while attempting to POST /operations/hello:hello-world, check the file: and make sure the helloService member is being set. By not invoking “session.addRpcImplementation()” the REST API will be unable to map /operations/hello:hello-world url to HelloWorldImpl.